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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, April 8, 2021

Spring Days | Another Covid Death | Magdelano Lawsuit | Early Point Arena | Hikers Rescued | Garbage Rates | Cloverdale Founder | AV Village | Behatted Dandies | Homekey Tour | Tulips | Ed Notes | Totally Canucked | Smoking Cyclists | Police Reports | Yesterday's Catch | The Dream | American Amnesia | Mexican Detroit | Bureaucracy | Overheated Republicans | Corporate Tax | Cat Bite | Internet Censoring | Miami Teens

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DRY WEATHER AND SEASONABLE TEMPERATURES are expected through at least Friday due to an upper level ridge persisting over NW California. (NWS)

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3 NEW COVID CASES and another death reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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MAGDALENO’S ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES IMPENDING LAWSUIT

by Mark Scaramella

Sebastopol attorney Izaak Schwaiger describes himself on his website as: “…an advocate and champion for the rights of regular people. A decorated veteran of the United States Marine Corps, a former Sonoma County prosecutor, and a respected presence in the courtroom.” 

Mr. Schwaiger “has devoted his practice to defending the criminally accused and upholding the civil rights of those who have been wronged by the police. Following ten years of service to his country in the Marine Corps, Izaak enrolled in law school at the University of Wyoming, where he did not graduate with honors, but was named ‘most likely to become a rockstar’.”

“Called the ‘go-to lawyer on police brutality cases’ by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Izaak's successes in cases others have called ‘hopeless’ are as numerous as they are unequalled. Izaak has successfully defended hundreds of clients in cases ranging from simple misdemeanors to first-degree murder, and his accomplishments in police brutality cases have made headlines across the nation and the world. Izaak holds the record for the largest jury verdict in a civil rights case in Sonoma County history.”

Mr. Schweiger now represents Gerardo Magdaleno, the Ukiah man who was tased, pepper sprayed and punched several times last Thursday, April 1 during an arrest on South State Street in Ukiah, videos of which have been widely viewed around the County. Schweiger told KZYX reporter Sarah Reith this week that he will file a federal civil rights case against the City of Ukiah and the officers involved soon. He will be asking for monetary damages based on “excessive force” and federal disability law, as well as “injunctive relief,” mainly having to do with insufficient officer training, violation of Magdaleno’s Fourth Amendment rights, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and “likely some other claims along with that.” Schweiger said, “The lack of training is the city’s fault, that’s the chief’s fault.” (A reference to Ukiah Police Chief Justin Wyatt.)

Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiocomo told the press recently that the City of Ukiah would be holding an independent investigation into the beating, to be conducted by a third party not employed or affiliated with the City “in a timely manner.” Asked if it would be someone from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office of Mendocino County District Attorney he said that would be “unlikely.” So, presumably, the City of Ukiah has not yet selected the “independent third party.”

kymkemp.com/2021/04/06/ukiah-police-chief-promises-his-agency-will-fully-cooperate-with-an-independent-investigation-into-the-recent-use-of-force-incident-against-a-nude-ma/

Family members of Magdaleno have said that he “has been off his prescription meds for some time.”

Ukiah Police Officer Saul Perez was the first responding officer visible in the videos, who approaches Magdaleno, orders him to do something, pepper sprays him and tases him to not much noticeable effect. Other officers involved have not yet been named.

In his formal statement, City Manager Sage Sangiocomo also alluded to the mental health and drug factors that are still, years after the passage of Measure B and the seemingly endless discussion and planning still underway. More than three years now and no Measure B services are being provided: “We are hopeful that the funding resulting from County Measure B can be used to help provide those resources,” said Sangiocomo who had not made public statements about Measure B delays that we know of. 

Sangiocomo might be referring to the crisis van which has been funded by Measure B and the County more than eight months ago and still being implemented at a snail’s pace. So far very little progress has been made: one crisis worker has been hired and the recruiting and training process is still underway with no deadline, no recent updates, and no statements from any of the County’s many helping professionals and mental health staff.

In addition, no one has mentioned whether Mr. Magdaleno was or has been under the care of the Mendocino County Behavioral Health Department nor whether that angle had anything to do with last week’s incident, although the claim that he has been off his meds for a while would imply that he is.

From the UPD Statement:

“The Officers issued numerous verbal instructions to Magdaleno and he continued to ignore those instructions. They then resorted to multiple taser deployments and multiple bursts of pepper spray. These hands-off measures were ineffective and Magdaleno continued to resist and repeatedly got back up to physically confront the Officers. Eventually Magdaleno was brought to the ground by several Officers but he continued to resist handcuffs and ignored verbal commands to stop resisting. The Officers then attempted to gain compliance by delivering numerous distraction strikes to the suspect’s head. This allowed the Officers a brief opportunity to place Magdaleno into handcuffs, and then the technique was ceased.”

Mr. Schweiger also represents Christopher Rasku who was beaten up in 2018 by then Officer Kevin Murray, later Sergeant Murray, later inmate Murray.

According to court filings in the Rasku case:

“On October 13, 2018, at about 7:00 p.m., the plaintiff [Christopher Rasku] left a note on his neighbor Joni Wellington's door about her dog, who had been barking all day in Ms. Wellington's absence. Around 10:30 p.m., Ms. Wellington returned home drunk, found the note, and confronted another neighbor about it. The plaintiff heard the commotion, came out of his apartment, and explained that he had left the note. Another neighbor announced that she had called the police, who were on their way. The plaintiff returned to his apartment and was standing inside the doorway behind a partly closed door when Officer Murray arrived. The plaintiff recognized Officer Murray from an earlier encounter when Officer Murray accused him of egging someone's car, entered the plaintiff's apartment, searched his refrigerator, and claimed that his eggs ‘matched’ the eggs found at the scene. That time, the plaintiff called Officer Murray a ‘punk’ and told him to leave his apartment immediately, and Officer Murray ‘has had it out for Mr. Rasku’ ever since.

“When Officer Murray arrived on October 13, he told the plaintiff to take a seat on the ground outside his apartment. The plaintiff refused and said he would stay in his doorway. In response, without any exigency, Officer Murray charged at the plaintiff's door with his shoulder causing the door to fly open into the plaintiff's head and face, knocking him unconscious. Officer Murray entered the home and began punching, kneeing, and kicking the plaintiff. The plaintiff woke up with his left arm cuffed, his right arm under his body (rendering him immobile), while Officer Murray kneed him in the ribs. Officer Murray repeatedly punched the plaintiff in the face and delivered ‘numerous further knee strikes to his lower ribs.’ Officer Murray was wearing a body camera during the encounter, but in violation of department policy, did not activate it.”

When charges were filed and Rasku later went to court, Judge Ann Morman threw the case out after seeing some video taken by the neighbor showing that Officer Murray’s account was false.

Nevertheless, Murray was later promoted to Sergeant, and after that was arrested for sexual battery and methamphetamine possession, a fact that Schweiger implied would play into the background of the Magdaleno case.

Mr. Schweiger told KZYX’s Reith that it is common for police to arrest people for “resisting arrest” because the Supreme Court has held that if a person is later convicted of resisting arrest then the police are exempted from civil liability. 

According the Supreme Court case called “Heck v. Humphrey” “a prisoner seeking damages for unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment must have the conviction or sentence reversed on appeal or otherwise declared invalid before his claim can proceed.” The applicability of that ruling in the Magdaleno case remains unclear.

Either way, however, Mendocino District Attorney David Eyster will also play a key role in this case because he will have to decide if 1) Magdaleno was resisting arrest (it certainly looks like he was), and 2) whether any charges will be filed against any of the Ukiah police officers. Attorney Schweiger said he thinks the videos demonstrate that charges should be filed against the cops.

Which brings us to Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting which opened with Supervisor Glenn McGourty’s wife Jan, former Chair of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board, urging the Board and the County to formally institute “CIT Training,” CIT standing for Crisis Intervention Team. The Board agreed with Ms. McGourty and asked that the subject be put on a future agenda, perhaps as early as the upcoming April 12 meeting, including a report of how many (County) people have been trained and how it’s paid for. 

CEO Angelo said that some CIT training has already been done and that she had spoken to Mental Health Director Jenine Miller about it. We’ve heard that a majority, but not all, of Sheriff Matt Kendall’s deputies have completed some form of CIT training.

Supervisor Williams quickly picked up on the liability question when it comes to law enforcement CIT training, a factor in the Magdaleno lawsuit, saying that the County should require the training because if something like what happened to Magdaleno occurred involving a County law enforcement officer, “We’re going to be picking up the tab of any settlement.” 


FACEBOOK was humming with misinformation about the Magdaleno arrest. The charges against him for alleged child molestation were dropped, and he was not injured during his takedown. I think fortunate people with no direct experience of violence, will always be shocked at films of it, but here we had a large, strong young man, raging incoherently, naked in the middle of South State Street, which left the cops no alternative but forceful suppression. The skinny young cop's seemingly ineffective punches to Mag's head, however, may have seemed pointless, but training manuals say punches to the head are delivered to get the alleged perp to close his eyes long enough for anoher cop to get the cuffs on.

Facebook comments:

1) Nice report of incident in beginning of this it explains how he was tased 3 times, pepper sprayed and put in wrap restaint yet doesn't list being repeatedly punched beyond recognition in the head when it was clear as day in the video...what an absolute shit show!! Those individuals involved need their badges yanked and charges slapped on their worthless asses immediately so we can feel safe in our little city...please

2) be aware this man also sodomized a 10yo girl .. if this was my niece , UPD hold my beer. 

3) that is awful!! Another reason why it's so important to get full story asap bc I've heard conflicting reports and i know how fast stories can change when there's police brutality involved...if he did that he deserves to beat 100x worse unfortunately we are in a very ugly battle within our country so this public representation only adds gas to the viscous fire 

4) Yup always two sides. It would of been nice to see such uproar over her wellbeing as well.

5) he hasn't been convicted yet and cops are not judge, jury, or executioner. Let the other inmates beat him. Not the police. 

6) this is exactly what I just said to a friend... however now that he has already been beaten hopefully his injuries are severe! 

7) i dont care what someone has done, this is not how police should respond, and those charges were dismissed.

8) Everyone has a right to the way they feel about this.and personally I think it's pretty sad that there is no uproar for the well-being of a CHILD. Maybe there is some connection between one of the officers and that case.. who knows, not up to Facebook to decide his fate. 

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EARLY POINT ARENA (via Marshall Newman)

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HIKERS RESCUED FROM MONTGOMERY WOODS in Mendocino County after being stranded overnight

by Kaylee Tornay

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Henry 1 helicopter assisted the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Cal Fire in rescuing two hikers stranded overnight Sunday in Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve.

The pair of hikers were both transported to the hospital but were expected to recover after their ordeal, which began shortly after they lost their way on a trail in the park Sunday afternoon, said Justin Buckingham, battalion chief with Ukiah Valley Fire.

The couple, a man and a woman, became disoriented and then weak while trying to find their way back to the trailhead, Buckingham said. The man then tried to retrace their steps to find help and left the woman on top of a ridge, where they had stopped to rest. But in the dark, he lost his way once again. Both hikers spent the night outside at the park.

The man reached Orr Hot Springs Resort about 11 a.m. Monday and called 911. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Cal Fire responded, rendered medical aid to the man and began the search for his partner.

Data from an app that the man used to track his route led the firefighters to the ravine, but they did not immediately locate the woman. After searching the area and calling out her name, the firefighters found she had fallen about 100 feet down the steep ravine, which left her with moderate injuries, Buckingham said.

Rather than risk further injury by moving her, Buckingham requested help from Henry 1. After a half-hour the crew arrived, and a helicopter crewman assisted firefighters in preparing the woman for flight. The crewman connected the woman, a firefighter/paramedic and himself to the bottom of a 200-foot-long line, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The crew flew the woman to Air Ambulance REACH 6 in Lakeport, from where she was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Buckingham said the incident can serve as a reminder to hikers to notify someone where they are going and when they should be expected to return. He reminded hikers to also prepare for the elements.

“Maybe pack water and protein bars to sustain you in case it takes longer than you thought to get back,” Buckingham said.

(courtesy The Press Democrat)

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COAST GARBAGE RATES TO RISE AGAIN

(Fort Bragg presser/agenda item discussion)

Solid Waste of Willits Rate Adjustment Request For Caspar Transfer Station

Background And Overview:

The Caspar Transfer Station Joint Coordinating Committee (Joint Committee) [Composed of County and City officials including Supervisor Dan Gjerde] has received a proposal from Mr. Jerry Ward of Solid Waste of Willits (SWOW) to increase the solid waste disposal rate by $0.96 per cubic yard (CY). At its meeting of March 25, the Joint Committee asked staff to work with Mr. Ward to provide additional detail and background better describing the need for this rate increase.

During the Joint Committee’s March 25 meeting, Mr. Ward briefly reviewed the history of the Caspar Transfer Station with special attention paid to the uncertainty of its future fate as the Central Coast Solid Waste Transfer Station. The City of Fort Bragg and Mendocino County have for many years been considering moving the Central Coast Transfer Station to a different location. Mr. Ward’s note dated March 31, 2021 provides greater detail. Because of this uncertainty, various site improvements have been delayed because it was unclear if the Caspar Transfer Station site would continue to be the long term Central Coast Solid Waste Transfer Station. Long-term, capital improvements would not be economically appropriate if the transfer station location was to be imminently moved. During the meeting two conceptual phases of improvements were discussed. The first is to expend priority funding that will allow the transfer station to continue operating while the question of the location of long-term operations is resolved. The second phase would be improvements to the Caspar site should it become the long-term transfer station location. A preliminary estimate of $400,000 to construct the necessary long-term site improvements to the Caspar Transfer Station have been previously provided by Mr. Ward. However these improvements are not part of the short-term fix and are not part of the requested rate increase.

In comparing the 2017, 2018, and 2019 operating expenses for the Caspar Transfer Station, there has clearly seen a big drop in net income experienced. For his 2019 fiscal year, net income was only $6,900 or about 0.7% of total revenue. It appears that the biggest increase in expense were due to: salaries, processing fees-recycle, contract transportation, insurance-workers’ comp, disposal fees-solid waste, and disposal fees-wood waste. Preliminarily for 2020, Mr. Ward says that he is experiencing even higher transportation costs due to the on-going operational inefficiencies [associated with the transfer station site].

The calculation of the $0.96/CY requested rate increase can be found in Mr. Ward’s note of March 31, 2021. On the 5th page is a section titled, “Operating the Site without the efficiency of using ‘Possum Belly’ trailers”. The second set of calculations’ “Using 115 cubic yard ‘possum belly’ trailers as Proposed” estimates the savings by switching to the “possum belly” trailers at about $0.98/CY. The new “possum belly” trailers have not been purchased. Until, these savings can be implemented, Mr. Ward argues that he needs a rate increase of $0.96/CY to cover the cost of the less efficient 50 cubic yard metal boxes currently being used.

Recommendation:

The Joint Committee should review the documents provided by Mr. Ward and consider any input during the meeting to establish the appropriateness of Mr. Ward’s requested $0.96/CY rate increase.

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JA Kaiser, Founder, Cloverdale

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SUNDAY'S AV VILLAGE ZOOM GATHERING AND BEYOND

AV Village Monthly Zoom Gathering: The AV Village Writer’s Showcase Sunday April 11th, 4 to 5 PM.

Join us for a fun night of local authors sharing their work. If you are interested in sharing some of your work on this Zoom event please contact Lauren Keating 895-2606 or laurenk@pacific.net. Please RSVP with the coordinator (andersonvalleyvillage@gmail.com) so we can get an idea of attendance, thank you. Looking forward to seeing you soon! BYOB for a more enjoyable event!

Join Zoom Meeting: https://gmail.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cea1e601922fa82e47579cc80&id=5381dd979e&e=358077c1c9

Meeting ID: 434 337 6734

Passcode: avv


AV Village Book Conversation: “Lessons for the 21st Century” by Yuval Harari

Wednesday April 14th, 3 PM

Meeting detail to be decided

The book is still Yuval Harari’s book “Lessons for the 21st Century” and we will cover Part IV & V, pages 223-326. If you are interested please contact Lauren for more details laurenk@pacific.net.

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Cloverdale Men

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TAKE A TOUR

Media Invite to Informal Tour at Project Homekey - Live Oak Apartments

From: "Mendocino County Executive Office" <ceo@mendocinocounty.org>

On behalf of the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency, we'd like to invite you to an informal tour of Live Oak Apartments. Live Oak Apartments is a Project Homekey site that will be opening to new residents who are currently experiencing homelessness. Residents will begin moving in during the week of April 19th.

What: Informal Tour at Project Homekey * Live Oak Apartments

When: Monday, April 12 at 10 am.

Where: The Old Best Western Inn at 555 S. Orchard Street, Ukiah

Because of social distancing requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not hosting a big event or open-house at this time. 

Please note that this is an invitation-only event. However, we would like to provide you with an informal opportunity to take a look at the building before we start filling it with people. It will probably take a half-hour at most.

Please RSVP directly to Megan Van Sant at vansantm@mendocinocounty.org so that we can keep track of the number of people attending.

More information about the project can be found at www.projecthomekeymendocino.org.

On-site protocols include mask wearing and six feet of physical distancing.

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Tulips (photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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ED NOTES

THE OLD SAW about public employment went like this: The jobs don't pay much but you don't have to do much, either. And you can't be fired. Around '75 public salaries began to climb, and now they're simply insane, insupportable over the long haul. 

Take Chief of the Ukiah Police, Justin Wyatt. Smart, capable guy. Career cop. According to Transparent California, as of 2018, the chief's total compensation package was $269,587. You can be sure that few people in Ukiah are aware that their police chief officially retired last year, and is working under an “emergency contract” until the city moves ahead with a replacement. He is drawing his full police chief retirement, and a police chief's pay, too, putting this most fortunate small town cop well over $400,000 per year while his department appears to flounder. Of course his ostensible boss, city manager Sangiacomo is also in the $400,000 thou range, with an assistant who gets $80,000 to do what she does. Ukiah has a population of 16,000 people, most of whom lament their town's overall condition — crazy people on the streets, an endless and misguided street project, a rubberstamp city council.

I WAS APPREHENSIVE about the Hemingway documentary presently playing out on PBS. I was certain it would be larded up with wokery given these low, dishonest times, as a poet described times not nearly as generally low down and dishonest as these. Imagine describing any male-type figure as a “man's man,” as Hemingway was routinely described up through the early 1950s. That descriptive is currently out of favor both conceptually and practically, and only eternal condemnation awaits anybody, male or female, who dared invoke it. I thought some of the PBS commentary on the great man's life were simply statements of the obvious, but I cheered when the great short story writer, Edna O'Brien, defended Hemingway against the canard that he hated women — yes, we have academics so stupid, so ideologically impaired, not to say reading handicapped — that they make that claim, and at book length, too. She cited a short story, from, I think, ‘In Our Time,’ about what us contempo-groove-o's would call date rape, pointing out that only a man in complete sympathy with women could have written that story. Hemingway was a complicated guy, for sure, but nobody literary could blow the top of your head off like he could in a line or two. Literary figures ceased having the central influence on our fragged culture about 1970, when music and movies took over, and you could make a strong case that these days we have no culture at all.

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VANCOUVER CANUCKS: 21 PLAYERS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, SOURCE OF OUTBREAK IDENTIFIED

The Vancouver Canucks said 25 players and coaches have tested positive in a COVID-19 outbreak involving a variant of the virus. The team said Wednesday that 21 players, including three from the taxi squad, and four members of the coaching staff have tested positive, and one other player is considered a close contact. "This is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and its serious impact, even among healthy, young athletes," the team said in a statement.

espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/31210578/vancouver-canucks-21-players-positive-covid-19-source-outbreak-identified

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Smoking Tour de France Cyclists

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WHERE'S NIELSEN?

On Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 5:33 P.M. a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was on routine patrol in the area of North State Street and Moore Street in Calpella.

The Deputy observed a motorcycle with expired registration tabs traveling on North State Street. The Deputy attempted to stop the subject on the motorcycle for the vehicle code violation.

The motorcycle failed to yield and continued northbound on North State Street. The motorcycle accelerated to speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour. The motorcyclist began weaving into oncoming traffic and driving erratically. The motorcyclist turned northwest onto West Road (Redwood Valley) and continued at a high rate of speed.

A Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Sergeant made the decision to discontinue the pursuit. The Deputies deactivated emergency lights and sirens, but remained in the area.

Deputies observed the motorcycle turn onto Gabriel Lane; which the Deputies knew to be a dead end street. The Deputies responded to this area and noticed the motorcyclist left the motorcycle at the end of Gabriel Lane and fled on foot.

At this time Deputies were able to see the motorcyclist from a distance due to the open terrain.

The Deputies initiated a foot pursuit and observed the motorcyclist drop a backpack. The backpack was recovered and found to contain a loaded handgun.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office personnel from the Patrol Division, Detective Division, County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Unit, Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and the California Highway Patrol searched the Redwood Valley area for the motorcyclist, who was described as being a white male adult, wearing a torn gray shirt, blue jeans and red shoes.

The reverse 911 protocol was activated for the area of West Road at Zahadoom Way to West Road at Rancheria Road east to the river.

Mendocino Sheriff's Office Detectives utilized an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UVA) to search for the motorcyclist, with negative results.

Citizens in the area later provided “game cam” footage of the suspect running through properties.

The Deputies were able to make a preliminary identification of the motorcyclist as being Mark Nielsen 

Mark Nielsen

Sheriff's Office personnel continued searching into the night time hours, with negative results.

Anyone who knows the current whereabouts of Nielsen is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office by calling 707-463-4086.

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A GUY'S GOTTA LIVE SOMEWHERE

On Monday, April 5, 2021 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a call from a landowner, who lived in another county.

The landowner advised that a neighbor, in Mendocino County, had contacted him about a person trespassing on his property. The landowner advised the property was vacant and no one should be on the property and requested Sheriff's Office Deputies respond to the location to investigate.

A Deputy went to the property located in the 2800 block of Black Hawk Drive in Willits.

The Deputy contacted Russell Harmon, 52, of Willits, at the location, who had moved onto the property without the owner's knowledge or permission. 

Russell Harmon

The Deputy ran a records check on Harmon and discovered he had two felony warrants and one misdemeanor warrant for his arrest issued by a Judge in Mendocino County.

Harmon was arrested without incident and booked into the Mendocino County Jail, where he was to be held in lieu of $32,500 bail.

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KNUCKLEHEAD KNUCKS

On Sunday, April 4, 2021 at about 10:40 PM a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff observed a gold Honda Van which had been witnessed leaving the location of a felony vandalism last week.

The Deputy observed one subject sitting in the driver's seat of the vehicle while the van was parked in the 500 block of Central Avenue in Willits.

The Deputy contacted the subject (Devin Nielson, 38 of Willits), who had exited the vehicle. During the contact, the Deputy requested Sheriff's Office dispatch run a records check on Nielson.

Devin Nielson

Sheriff's Office Dispatch advised Nielson had a misdemeanor no-cite warrant for his arrest issued in Mendocino County in 2020. The Deputy was further advised Nielson was on misdemeanor probation with a term to obey all laws.

Nielson was arrested on the warrant and subsequently searched. The Deputy found a used glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine in his front pants pocket.

A search of Nielson's vehicle was conducted and the Deputy located a zip lock bag with about 1 gram of a white crystalline substance and a plastic container with about 5 grams of a crystalline substance.

Due to the Deputy's training and experience, the substance appeared to be methamphetamine. By the front seat, on the floor board, of the vehicle was black colored metal knuckles.

Nielson was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $16,000 bail.

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THE REAL JEFF FRENCH

On Sunday, April 4, 2021 at about 8:55 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies noticed Jeffery French, 43, of Willits, who they knew from prior contacts, in the area of Creekside Court in Willits.

Jeffrey French

The Deputies believed French had multiple warrants for his arrest and had given a false name in the past when contacted.

They contacted French and he provided a different name, but after some conversation, Deputies determined French's real identity.

Deputies ran a records check on French and discovered he had two 2 Felony warrants and five 5 Misdemeanor warrants for his arrest issued in Mendocino County.

French was arrested without incident and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a no-bail status.

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A BOULEVARD? IN COVELO? WE WANT ONE IN BOONVILLE

On Monday, April 5, 2021 at about 2:58 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies went to serve a felony arrest warrant at a residence in the 300 block of Mountain Lion Boulevard in Covelo.

The Deputies located Jesse Gurrola, 26, of Covelo, at the residence and confirmed he had a Mendocino County felony arrest warrant for weapon related offenses.

Jesse Gurrola

Gurrola was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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PICK UP ON LILAC LOOP

On Monday, April 5, 2021 at about 3:41 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies contacted Jovan Campos, 19, of Covelo, in the area of Lilac Loop in Covelo.

Jovan Campos

Deputies determined Campos had a Mendocino County felony warrant for his arrest related to a failure to appear in court.

Campos was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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PICK UP ON LEDGER LANE

On Monday, April 5, 2021 at approximately 4:09 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies conducted an arrest warrant service at an address in the 75000 block of Ledger Lane in Covelo.

Upon arrival, Deputies contacted John Eli Cunnan, 51, of Covelo, and confirmed he had a Mendocino County Felony Arrest Warrant for violation of probation.

John Cunnan

Cunnan was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail pursuant to the Felony Arrest Warrant.

In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, bail was set at zero dollars and Cunnan was released after the jail booking process, on his promise to appear in court at a later date.

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3:52AM ON NORTH STATE WHERE CARLOS HAS… YOU NAME IT

On Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 3:52 A.M. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a subject banging on the reporting person's door while holding a machete in the 1300 block of North State Street in Ukiah, California.

Deputies responded to the area and contacted Carlos Magana, 23, of Ukiah, who the Deputies were familiar with from prior law enforcement contacts.

Carlos Magana

During the contact, Magana peacefully removed a large fixed blade knife from inside his pants while be questioned.

Magana showed objective signs of being under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant; however he was uncooperative with field sobriety tests.

Magana was detained and searched for additional weapons.

A glass pipe, consistent with pipes used to smoke methamphetamine, was found in his pant pocket. Deputies located a can of pepper spray in Magana's clothing. Magana was found to be a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing pepper spray.

Magana was arrested for Felony Unlawful Possession Tear Gas Weapon, Felony Carry Concealed Dirk or Dagger and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Magana was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and during the intake process a Corrections Deputy located suspected methamphetamine in Magana's shoe. An additional charge of Possession of Controlled substance was added.

In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, bail was set at zero dollars and Magana was released after the jail booking process, on his promise to appear in court at a later date.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 7, 2021

Cabrera, Campos, Essex, Maxfield

JAMES CABRERA, Fort Bragg. Felon-addict with firearm.

JOVAN CAMPOS, Covelo. Failure to appear.

LANCE ESSEX, Laytonville. Failure to appear.

BRADLEY MAXFIELD, Willits Mandatory supervision sentencing, probation revocation.

Petersen, Ryan, Williams

KYLEE PETERSEN, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

WILLIAM RYAN, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

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THE DREAM

Denis Rouse

Weinstein is having a drink, sweet strong coffee laced with vanilla and a jigger of over proof rum, with Ernest Hemingway on the hardwood veranda of Papa’s home in the green hills above Havana, Finca Vigia, or Lookout Farm in a language that often may greatly exceed the beauty of English. Far below Havana Bay glitters in clean desperate blue green morning light that is unique to the Caribbean. It is a time when the great writer is at the height of his power no matter what the critics are saying. Papa’s “Across The River and Into The Trees” has recently arrived to scorn by the putative arbiters of literary taste who have their heads firmly ensconced up their asses. Weinstein is aware in the dream he is having that there are no limits, anything is possible, anything can happen, but some good must come out of this dream despite, so far, nothing customarily erotic of it has reared its hoary head.

“Weinstein” Papa is saying, “I’ve lived all over the world. Nowhere have I been happier than I am in Cuba. There is music, laughter here. In the Gulf Stream I have seen two thousand pound Marlin, unhooked mind you, emerge from the cobalt sea and soar through an arc of forty yards in a glistening penumbra of spray and then leave you in a state of drooling, wondering if what you just witnessed was real.”

“Almita, mi pajarito hermosa, a couple more of these por favor”, Papa says.

The barely pubescent lithe barefoot girl, is she sixteen?, who has served the drinks, has shining black hair that falls to her waist as if it is the lightest silk, and flawless skin that is nearly the color of the lightly creamed rum-laced coffee. She is wearing a shoulderless floral sarong the hem of which bares fully her thighs. Her kind, dark, almond eyes, her adoring eyes do not wander from Papa’s as she slowly refills his cup while her free hand, with small fingernails as clean, delicate, pearlescent as sun bleached shells, Weinstein notices, rests lightly on the nape of his neck. Papa pats her lovely hand, and momentarily returns her gaze. “Ah, mi amorita”, he whispers, barely audibly.

Then “Paris is a fucking hellhole, Weinstein, I want no more of it”.

“I understand, Papa, trust me, I understand”.

At once a jeep with a lone driver at the wheel is visible jouncing up the dusty rutted road that leads to the arbored garden gate of the farmhouse. It has emerged abruptly from an unbroken canopy of lush tropical growth that rolls down the green hills from the edges of Papa’s fields all the way down to the old city far below strung along the coast of the blue black bay flecked white by the trade winds.

“It’s Fidel,” Papa says as the whine of the Jeep’s engine nears, “He’s coming up for another chat”.

Minutes later, the Jeep reaches the gate and squeals noisily to a stop, scattering a few chickens that had been pecking in the ochre dirt. The driver, a big, swarthy, fully bearded man dressed in olive combat fatigues, with a large automatic pistol holstered on his hip that Weinstein notices immediately, leaps from the vehicle, removes his visored cap, and with a bow and a grand flourish, greets Papa in booming Spanish.

“Papa, mi escribador favorito, como esta? Quien es el gringo? Su amigo, yo espero”.

“Si Fidel, si, he is my friend. His name is Weinstein. He wants to be a writer. I’m trying to tell him how impossible it is. Bienvenidos, Commandante. Come up. The coffee is hot and fine. Almita, mas café por favor. El Commandante esta aqui.”

Fidel strides up the stairs, two at a time. He bear hugs Papa with gusto, then shakes Weinstein’s hand with a firm even grip and then seats himself in a heavily cushioned rattan chair the winsome Indian girl Alma has pushed to the table for him. As she places his steaming fragrant drink before him, he regards her at some length with what appears to be an appreciative smile. He taps an ash from the cigar he is smoking.

“Ah Papa”, Fidel says as Alma pads softly back into the house leaving a scent that reminds Weinstein of a favored brand of soap, “You are doing quite well. This I see quite clearly. Our motherland too now that we have given Batista his just reward. The brothels, the casinos, the gangsters will follow him. Tell me, what have you heard from Kennedy?”

“He is worried, Fidel. He is under pressure. The Americans who own the hotels you are appropriating are angry. They are expecting him to take some action.”

“Action? What action? Cuba will not be bending over again to their imperialist scheming. They have had their way here too long while thieves have prospered and the people have suffered. We are going to build schools, clinics, housing. Let them do their whoring elsewhere. I have begged Kennedy, come to Havana. We will talk. Legitimate enterprise will be welcomed. We will trade our sugar, our coffee, our tobacco, our bananas, our sweat, and God willing as the Cuban people progress, both of our countries will benefit greatly from a healthy free trade of goods, of ideas. We have spilled our blood, Papa, and now we are realists. We have seen what we have seen in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, El Salvador, Chile, Panama, Argentina, Haiti, The Dominican Republic. Not here, not ever again.”

“Don’t give up on Kennedy, Fidel. He has his private vices but don’t we all? He is a good man, intelligent and idealistic like you. Some of his advisors are going to be a problem, and the CIA is restive, but two leaders determined to hang on to their integrity, their faith in what is just, in what is right should prevail, no?”

“You there, Senor Weinstein”, says Fidel, directly drilling Weinstein with his deep-set glittering eyes, “What do you think about this?”

“Uh, I don’t know Commandante, but like you I’m troubled by history. There is a lyric from an American musical. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In the meantime in between time ain’t we got fun. If I were to be so bold as to respectfully offer you a word of advice it would be to remember traits timeless and universal to human nature across the board. I wouldn’t expunge all the fun”.

“And what do you mean by ‘the fun’ if I may ask?”

Before Weinstein can attempt a reply, a soft rhythmic refrain begins to emanate from inside the house, the seductive liquid drumbeats and the mournful strings and the sweet winds of a Cuban mambo. The beautiful brown skinned girl Almita has put a record on Papa’s phonograph, and as the men can witness clearly through the open shutters of the broad veranda doors, she is swaying, undulating, barefoot dancing dreamily to the music on the shining hardwood floor with her almond eyes closed, her full naturally roseate lips slightly parted, completely unaware she is being observed in her soulful reverie.

“Some profound truths, Commandante”, says Weinstein in a tone only slightly above a whisper, “We hold to be self-evident.”

“There you have it, Weinstein” says Papa, “The damnable irrelevance, on many important occasions, of words. Someday it’s going to be a very big problem for me”.

* * *

* * *

TRAVELS IN MEXICO

by Paul Theroux

Saltillo is called in the Detroit of Mexico for its automobile production (of the 25 car plants in Mexico, five are in or around Saltillo), but it has Detroit's disorder, too, the sprawl of working poor and bad housing and agglomerations of shops. Yet the center of the city, also like Detroit, had two good museums and a sculpted, busily baroque 18th-century cathedral and plazas of the venerable municipal buildings befitting Saltillo as the capital of its state, Coahuila. I drove through its center, looking for a hotel, but got honked forward and quickly found myself headed out of town.

In the interest of greater freedom on the road, I had made few plans in advance and no onward reservations. My method from the start of my trip and along the border was to look for a place to stay for the night at around four or five in the afternoon, spotting one by the roadside ("That'll do"), swinging into the forecourt, and asking whether they had a room and a safe place to park my car. They always did.

That was how I found myself at the Hotel La Fuente, set in a walled compound at the edge of Saltillo. To a casual onlooker it was seedy, with greater scrutiny it was adequate, and as a desperate traveler I found it just right. As with the cheapest Mexican motels, its main asset was its secure parking lot and its unsmiling guard, recommended in a country noted for car theft. My room hummed with the sting of mildew, the lighting was too dim to read by, the bed was lumpy and the bathroom was dusty, but after an anxious day on the road, driving from the border, it seemed perfect. The restaurant looked spartan, but the food was excellent in the simple way of provincial Mexico.

From my inquiries on the border I had the name of a man in Saltillo, Lopez, a friend of a friend, who had been living in the United States until he was stopped for a minor traffic violation and, unable to explain his status, was arrested as an illegal and sent back to Mexico. After 10 years working in a factory in Texas, he had gained the experience to be able to get a job in Saltillo and apply his expertise to a factory here. He met me at the Hotel La Fuente, his arms hanging loose, a polite, somewhat sad, and serious man. It was hard to tell how old he was. In a country where people matured early and work hard, they often looked old in middle age. I took him to be 50 or more, but he could have been much younger. He was jolly, heavy set, in shirt sleeves -- Saltillo was warm -- with a soft handshake.

"I have never been here," Lopez said in the restaurant, looking around. Glancing at the menu he remarked that many of the items were local specialties such as pulque bread, roasted baby goat (cabrito), and machaca con huevos (shredded beef and eggs). Lopez had the cabrito. I had tortilla soup and enchiladas and marveled that in a single day I had made it this far.

"Not far from the border here," Lopez said. "But over the border -- that's really far!"

"What sort of work were you doing in the States?"

"Plastic injection molding," he said, poking his fork at the goat meat. "That's what I'm doing here."

The term was new to me, and seemed like a conversation killer, but he said it was important for automotive parts. He was in quality control and I like his description of defects: "delamination," "blisters," "burn marks."

"Do you miss the states?"

"I miss my children. My girlfriend and I split up, and she's raising them there. There's no way I can visit them, but my ex sometimes brings them to Nuevo Larado. They come over at the border and we have a meal." He looked a little tearful. "Two boys, eight and 12. They're getting big."

"Tell me more about the factory where you work," I said.

"Thermoplastics. It's not interesting. The pay is about a quarter of what I was making in Texas -- and we have educated people here. There are 16 universities in Saltillo and lots of colleges." He chewed a little. "I'll manage. It's just that everything is so different now. 20 years ago I had no problem crossing the border -- all of us shopped there, when we had money. But it got worse and worse." He sighed. "Politics!"

"Ours or yours?"

"Both! Our government is bad, yours -- well, you know the talk. ‘Mexicans are criminals and rapists.’ And really I was working hard and all the Mexicans I knew were good workers."

He spoke about uncertainties: how NAFTA might be renegotiated to the detriment of Mexico, how stringent immigration policies meant his going to the States again was out of the question, how the current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, was a poor speaker and as much a liar as our president. But he laughed. "It's not in my hands!" And so we talked about happier things -- his new girlfriend, her job at GM, their trips to visit her family in Monterrey, and outings to San Luis Potosi where he had friends. A lovely city, he said, and urged me to stop there.

* * *

* * *

INFLATION?

Editor: 

As Republicans and their pundits pontificate on the inflation sure to come from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan it is useful to review basic definitions of American economics. When prices (and profits) go up, it is called economic growth and is a good thing to be encouraged. When wages go up it is called inflation (or sometimes an overheated economy) which is a bad thing and is to be discouraged. The Republicans have been wrong about inflation since George H.W. Bush was president. Check it out. 

Patrick Coyle

Santa Rosa

* * *

THE MAIN CAUSE of the radical decline in tax rates for very wealthy Americans over the past 75 years isn’t the one that many people would guess. It’s not about lower income taxes (though they certainly play a role), and it’s not about lower estate taxes (though they matter too).

The biggest tax boon for the wealthy has been the sharp fall in the corporate tax rate.

In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, many corporations paid about half of their profits to the federal government. The money helped pay for the U.S. military and for investments in roads, bridges, schools, scientific research and more. “A dirty little secret,” Richard Clarida, an economist who’s now the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, once said, “is that the corporate income tax used to raise a fair amount of revenue.”

Since the mid-20th century, however, politicians of both political parties have supported cuts in the corporate-tax rate, often under intense lobbying from corporate America. The cuts have been so large — including in President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul — that at least 55 big companies paid zero federal income taxes last year, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Among them: Archer-Daniels-Midland, Booz Allen Hamilton, FedEx, HP, Interpublic, Nike and Xcel Energy.

“Right now, the U.S. raises less corporate tax revenue as a share of economic output than almost all other advanced economies,” Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley of The Times write.

The justification for the tax cuts has often been that the economy as a whole will benefit — that lower corporate taxes would lead to company expansions, more jobs and higher incomes. But it hasn’t worked out that way. Instead, economic growth has been mediocre since the 1970s. And incomes have grown even more slowly than the economy for every group except the wealthy.

By The New York Times | Sources: Gabriel Zucman; Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The American economy turns out not to function very well when tax rates on the rich are low and inequality is high.

Corporate taxes are wealth taxes

Corporate taxes are such an important part of the overall taxes paid by the wealthy because much of their holdings tend to be stocks. And as the owners of companies, they are effectively paying corporate taxes. Most of their income doesn’t come through a salary or bonus; it comes from the returns on their wealth.

“In effect, the only sizable tax for these billionaires is the corporate tax they pay through their firms,” Gabriel Zucman, an economist and tax specialist at the University of California, Berkeley, told me. “The main reason why the U.S. tax system was so progressive before the 1980s is because of heavy taxes on corporate profits.”

President Biden is now trying to reverse some (but by no means all) of the decline in corporate taxes. His plan would raise the corporate tax rate, punish companies that move profits overseas and introduce a rule meant to prevent companies from paying zero taxes, among other things. The money would help pay for his infrastructure plan. “It’s honest, it’s fair, it’s fiscally responsible, and it pays for what we need,” Biden said at the White House yesterday.

Experts and critics are already raising legitimate questions about his plan, and there will clearly be a debate about it. Biden said he was open to compromises and other ideas.

But one part of the criticism is pretty clearly inconsistent with the facts: The long-term decline in corporate taxes doesn’t seem to have provided much of a benefit for most American families.

— David Leonhardt, The New York Times

* * *

* * *

MEET THE CENSORED: The U.S. Right to Know Foundation 

by Matt Taibbi

In July of 2020, a nonprofit watchdog group called the U.S. Right to Know Foundation — which describes its mission as exposing “corporate wrongdoing and government failures that threaten the integrity of our food system, our environment, and our health” — began filing requests for public documents “in an effort to discover what is known about the origins of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2,” which “causes the disease Covid-19.”

Later in the year, the Foundation began publishing the results of those document requests. These included reports of unsafe conditions at biolabs in Fort Collins, Colorado, as well as emails connected with the EcoHealth Alliance, an American non-profit that has been supported in part by taxpayer-funded grants, and has collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Those emails were not flattering to the EcoHealth Alliance. They showed that its leadership had a role in helping organize a letter in the prominent medical journal, Lancet, denouncing as “conspiracy theory” the idea that Covid-19 might have had laboratory origins, but appeared reluctant to have its own involvement made public. In one email, EcoAlliance president Peter Daszak appeared to suggest distancing itself from the Lancet statement. “We’ll then put it out in a way that doesn’t link it back to our collaboration so we maximize an independent voice,” the EcoHealth president wrote.

Despite the correspondence, Daszak did ultimately sign the letter publicly, and the emails are not proof of anything, other than that EcoAlliance had some P.R. concerns about seeming too eager to denounce theories of laboratory origin for Covid-19. Still, it’s clearly in the public interest.

USRTK, whose reporting is mostly based on public document searches, is an organization that inspires strong opinions. They inhabit a corner of the media universe focusing on who pays for what kind of research, and to what result, around topics like food additives and Genetically Modified Organisms. The material can get very personal, and thanks to headlines like “The misleading and deceitful ways of Dr. Kevin Folta,” they’re not generally in the friend-making business.

Moreover, agencies like USRTK are particularly vulnerable in the age of algorithmic moderation, as computers don’t easily distinguish between conspiracy theory and legitimate reporting that runs counter to present accepted narratives. Any organization that swims in those waters and isn’t attached to a big name now has to keep looking over its shoulder. If such an organization does end up suspended, deleted, or de-ranked, as USRTK later would be, it has to wonder: was it something we wrote?

As a nonprofit, USRTK isn’t terribly click-conscious, and director Gary Ruskin wasn’t aware initially that its traffic went off a cliff in December, 2020, dropping nearly 60% overnight:

The World Socialist Web Site had to conduct its own analysis to discover a similar drop in traffic after Google’s “Project Owl” update in early 2017. Other sites, like the Chris Hedges-led TruthDig, had to perform similar self-analysis to find similar drops.

In other words, when an individual or outlet sees a significant drop or a ban, they’re rarely told what’s happening. An overnight, ongoing, 60% drop in traffic is not likely an organic phenomenon, but what is it? Ruskin only had a few data points to work with. “On December 2nd, things were good,” he says. “On December 4th, the bottom fell out.”

Did anything happen in that time frame? As it turns out, yes. On December 3rd, Google announced a “core algorithm update.” Google changes its search algorithm daily, but makes what it calls “significant, broad changes” several times a year. The company has obviously dealt with the problem of people negatively impacted by these changes, having posted notices offering public advice to those affected. “Some sites may note drops,” the company wrote, in 2019. “We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don't try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all.”

Translation: you may not be doing anything wrong. You may just be screwed. However, just in case you did want to try to unscrew yourself, the company offers the following Platonic advice: ask questions. Self-interrogate! A sample:

Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?

If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?

Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?

Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?

Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?

Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

U.S. Right to Know is basically ad-free. It doesn’t aggregate, but instead publishes original reporting based mainly on public documents. It’s the opposite of a click-chasing SEO-oriented site that is “attempting to guess what might rank well.” It doesn’t have shocking or sensational headlines — in fact, it barely had an engagement strategy. Its work is referenced by peer-reviewed medical journals and established outlets like the New York Times.

Once the December drop was detected, Ruskin reached out to more computer-savvy folks to ask how they could fix whatever they were doing wrong. Those experts in SEO optimization could only offer a little advice. “We're talking to some search engine people who offered suggestions,” Ruskin says. “They tell us things like, ‘Oh, that'll affect a tenth of a percent of your problem, but we don't understand the other 99.9% of it.’”

A consistent detail in these stories is that the affected outlet doesn’t know whom to call to ask for help. Nearly everyone ends up going through their contact lists in search of someone who might know someone at a company like Google.

Ruskin did get a name to contact at the firm, and wrote a note that detailed his credentials and showed the dramatic drop in traffic. The Google staffer wrote back with a standard-issue reply:

”Our December 2020 core update, like any core update, does not involve particular sites. We explain a bit more about core updates in our post about them: ‘There's nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites’.”

The staffer went on to say that she was happy to pass complaints on, but that not only would nothing be done right away, nothing could be done for any individual site, even if they wanted to try. Note the Kafka-style “nor could we” phrase here:

”I've passed along your feedback to our teams for general review. This will not result in any immediate change, nor could we make such a change, given that core updates don't involve the ranking of particular sites. But our teams may use this feedback to understand how to make general improvements in our ranking systems overall.”

The Freedom of the Press Foundation, which had a similar issue with its own database of Donald Trump tweets, picked up on USRTK’s story in a piece called, “When Algorithms Come for Journalists” that also highlighted stories profiled in this space, like the one involving Jordan Chariton’s Status Coup. In describing its own problems with its Trump tweets data, the site wrote:

”Still, we were lucky. Some of our colleagues know employees at Google… After many people made private inquiries on our behalf, the document was restored without explanation a day after we discovered it was down. Obviously, that course of action is not available to most. We still have no idea why the Trump tweet database was taken down.”

Not long ago, outlets like USRTK mainly had to worry about PR campaigns. The Freedom of the Press Foundation noted, for instance, that the organization had been one subject of a much-publicized effort by Monsanto to discredit its work, setting up an online “intelligence center” that produced weekly reports on the organization’s activity.

Or: has the site crossed an unknown line with its Covid-19 reports, which include lines like, “To date, there is not sufficient evidence to definitively reject either zoonotic origin or lab-origin hypotheses”? Language like that seemed to be okay when The Telegraph ran headlines like “Scientists to examine possibility Covid leaked from lab as part of investigation into virus origins.”

But is it less okay when a different site says something similar? Is there something in the algorithm that triggers such reactions? Who knows? Companies like Google only speak in riddle-like generalities when queried about things like this, sounding like Confucian sages, or Alan Greenspan.

I spoke to Ruskin about his organization’s experience:

TK: What happened?

Ruskin: We don’t know. There was a big core update in December of 2020 that the timing corresponds exactly with this, but that doesn't prove that it was it.

TK: Would a core update be responsible for that big of a drop in traffic?

Ruskin: You’re asking the wrong guy. I mean, there are a couple of articles that explain in very opaque language what it did, but to my understanding, it doesn't say anything that is pertinent to us. There was nothing that jumped out at me. That's part of what's Kafkaesque about this whole process: there have been no explanations, no one to appeal to, to talk with.

TK: Will this affect your funding, your ability to keep working? Ruskin: Certainly it's easy to imagine how it could, but we do our work so that it gets read and so that the world understands what we're trying to explain about public health. And now so many fewer people read our stuff, can find our stuff.

Our organization, we spent six years of blood, sweat, and tears to build this website, which up until December, lots of people looked at. And now it's not so many people look at it and nobody told us why. That’s one of the concerning things about the whole story. In some ways, Google has the power to decide what we all read, and that's more power than one corporation should hold.

TK: Is this censorship, or a glitch? Has this been a learning experience? 

Ruskin: I really strongly believe in the First Amendment and have been concerned for probably during that entire period about when the censors come for someone, they could easily come for you tomorrow. So that, I think, is the lesson of history. But I can’t say that this is censorship, because I don't have the faintest idea. That’s another part of what’s so frustrating.

It's so hard to believe that this has happened, and there's no reason for it that we can uncover. It happened all of a sudden, we're wondering if it will go away all of a sudden. So maybe that's wishful thinking. We don’t know what to do. We’re talking to some search engine people. We’re doing a little of that to try to see if there's anything sensible to be understood and done. We're making a few better URLs than the ones we had, which were crummy. But nobody thinks that that's the reason for this.

TK: Is that the hardest thing about these situations? That there’s no procedure for fixing something like this?

Ruskin: Absolutely. It's straight out of Kafka. What door do I knock on?

* * *

Miami Beach

22 Comments

  1. Eric Sunswheat April 8, 2021

    I found a J&J vaccine appointment for today at Ukiah
    Costco.

    -> March 26, 2021
    While J&J’s vaccine has 66.3% effectiveness overall and 74.4% effectiveness in the United States, it has “100% efficacy against hospitalization and death from the virus,” said Dr. Irons. “That’s really what we have to focus on.”

    She noted that White House Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, among other top experts are “saying is that it’s really important to focus on the severe end of the spectrum, preventing hospitalization and death.”…

    “When the Janssen vaccine was tested, it was at the height of the pandemic,” she said. “The variants of concern were out there, so the test for the Janssen vaccine was harder—you can’t compare them.”
    https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/what-doctors-wish-patients-knew-about-johnson-johnson-vaccine

    -> UPDATED April 2, 2021 at 4:21 p.m.
    Costco on Friday opened up appointments for Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine at nearly two dozen stores across the Bay Area, substantially expanding the superstore chain’s vaccination offerings in the region.

    Appointments are available to anyone who meets California’s eligibility requirements, including people who are 50 or older, those ages 16-49 with high-risk health conditions or disabilities, people experiencing homelessness and workers in healthcare, food and agriculture, education, public transit and emergency services.
    https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/04/02/costco-opens-up-single-shot-johnson-johnson-covid-vaccine-appointments-at-stores-across-the-bay-area/

    https://www.costco.com/covid-vaccine.html

  2. Marmon April 8, 2021

    RE: MAGDALENO’S ATTORNEY

    “Ukiah Police Officer Saul Perez was the first responding officer visible in the videos”

    Saul Perez is a decorated Marine who served eight years in the Marine Corps, and a number of overseas combat tours. Perez grew up in Ukiah, and lives in Ukiah with his mom and girlfriend.

    https://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/2016/12/13/ukiah-police-department-swears-in-three-new-officers/

    Saul G Perez worked as a Police Officer for the city of Ukiah, California and in 2018 had a reported pay of $66,910.67 according to public records. This is 1.7 percent lower than the average pay for city employees.

    https://openpayrolls.com/saul-g-perez-71155595

    Ten years ago, as a social worker, I made more money than he makes now as a cop.

    Marmon

    • Lazarus April 8, 2021

      It appears this Sonoma County lawyer has props. It also appears the City of Ukiah could be on the hook for a fat settlement for Mr. Magdaleno’s arrest situation. Then you have the City manager of Ukiah pointing directly at the failure of Measure B and those entrusted to do whatever for the mentally ill and the taxpayers. If Ukiah takes a hit, Ukiah will pass that hit along to the County if possible.
      The optics are not looking good for anyone, with the exception of Mr. Magdaleno and his family.
      As always,
      Laz

      • Marmon April 8, 2021

        The City of Ukiah needs to stop coddling the Schraeders and the rest of the so called “do gooders” and demand change. There were two experts, Marbut and Kemper, who came in and told them how to fix things but they only accepted their recommendations “in concept”.

        Ukiah City Council adopts Marbut homeless report ‘in concept’

        After clarifying exactly what “in concept” would obligate them to do, the Ukiah City Council voted Wednesday to adopt “in concept” a list of recommendations prepared by a homelessness expert recently hired by Mendocino County.

        “You are not literally committing yourself to adopting each one as described,” City Attorney David Rapport told the City Council at its May 16 meeting, referring to the Homeless Needs Assessment and Action Steps report created by consultant Robert Marbut, describing the wording of the city resolution as allowing “for some flexibility in how the recommendations are addressed and implemented.”

        https://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/2018/05/18/ukiah-city-council-adopts-marbut-homeless-report-in-concept/

        The UPD is dealing with a lot shit out there and are not getting any help from the “do gooders”. Put some restrictions on Plowshares, that’s where they need to start.

        Marmon

        • Bruce McEwen April 8, 2021

          Plowshares?

          I’ve been taking my meals at Plowshares up until the last few years and I will not accept your silly accusation that these goody-two-shoes are to blame. You of the stay-in-mom’s-house types are awfully ready to cast aspersions on those of us who left the nest after 30-40 years and ventured into the wilds of humanity, on our own. My brother-in-law, who was finally kicked out of the nest with no more than a quarter of a million inheritance, went off to India, became a monk, and when I asked him what he thought might be wrong with such a stubborn Trumpster as yourself, the monk answered: put him on the streets of Calcutta in the wee hours with nothing but a loin cloth and twenty rupees. Then he will attain enlightenment. Over to you Craig…

          • Marmon April 8, 2021

            Getting rid of Chief Wyatt would be a good start too. Before he was Chief he was a member of 31 agencies of The Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC) and participated regularly in their meetings. That bunch of vultures brainwashed him and rendered him unable to think rationally as to what’s in the Community’s best interest. Ukiah is a mess because he won’t stand up to that bunch and say “enough is enough plowshares and stop bringing in strays like Bruce McEwen off the 101”.

            Marmon

          • Bruce McEwen April 8, 2021

            And I’ll add to that that I’ve never been prouder in my life than when, with the help of Ploughshares, I’d finally got myself situated and able to provide for myself, I could afford to go to their wonderful fund-raiser party at Barra, and thank them all in person, along with a huge plate of BBQ, a brimming bumper of wine, and a terrific band kicking out the tunes!
            So bugger off, James Marmon, and take your envy to yo mamma, bitch.

    • Bruce Anderson April 8, 2021

      Sorry, Jim, but I’m going to need see some evidence. Please post a couple of your pay stubs from that period. Thanks.

      • Marmon April 8, 2021

        Right now, for a Social Worker IV-D Step 5 in Mendocino County they make 86,174.40 a year. I was a Social Worker V, but that classification doesn’t exist anymore after the County went Civil Service instead of Merit. Sorry, I’ll that don’t have any pay stubs available right now, I’ll have to do some digging.

        Marmon

        • Bruce McEwen April 8, 2021

          “Hey, it ain’t such a long drop, don’t stammer, don’t stutter, from the diamonds in the sidewalk to the dirt in the gutter…”

          John Prine, Covid-19 victim.

          And remember this, that little huss judge Luther cut you was all about yo mamma, bitch. Had you been one of the homeless you so openly despise, or the Native American people whose kids you like to take, well, the verdict may have been otherwise.

      • Marmon April 8, 2021

        In 2012 the State ordered the County to pay me $49,000.00 in back wages from August 17, 2011 to March 12, 2012, that’s 7 months. They found that the County had violated my 14th Amendment rights to “due process” when they terminated me. 5 more months would have come to approximately $35,000.00 more, so do the math.

        Marmon

        • Bruce Anderson April 8, 2021

          You should have done the math first before you made the windy claim that you made more than the Ukiah cop makes now.

  3. Douglas Coulter April 8, 2021

    Meet the censored;
    ” a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” Paul Simon
    We all censor, it is human nature. When my delusion is challenged and I go Rush Limbaugh on those speaking “fake news”
    Does any idea make you angry?
    Does any idea make you afraid?
    These are the symptoms of delusion. You just bought a bridge after making large investments, someone suggests the person who sold it to you did not own it, you choke the bastard who offers this info.
    “How long will they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look” Bob Marley
    Google is choking every bastard that questions their investment. I watched my own hit counts plunge on Soundcloud, Facebook, and Crazyguyonabike early during Covid19 2020.
    The free press was never free but it’s never been as deeply under attack in USA as it is now.

  4. Rye N Flint April 8, 2021

    RE: THE OLD SAW about public employment

    Why is the average mean income in Mendocino County $35k a year, yet CEO pay, housing costs and rent are skyrocketing? Aren’t we so glad that the BOS gave themselves raises to make $85k a year a couple years ago? Not to mention the 100s of Thousands of dollar spent on private retainer contracts for Planning and Building officials too. Did everyone else in the county float on this rising tide? Seems like everyone below are drowning. How many county employees live in trailers and sleep in their cars? More than you know. Mendo used to be a nice place 10 years ago when I moved here. Now it seems to be filed with NIMBY landlords that don’t want a decent sewer system in their town, because who cares about boil water notices for your tenants? It’s passive income right?

    • George Hollister April 8, 2021

      Keep I mind, there is a huge amount of unreported black market income in Mendocino County. There has been for at least 30 years. The black market is the biggest economy in this county.

  5. Jim Armstrong April 8, 2021

    “…training manuals say punches to the head are delivered to get the alleged perp to close his eyes long enough for anoher cop to get the cuffs on.”

    I’m willing to hear how that makes sense.

    • Mike Kalantarian April 8, 2021

      [sung to “All My Loving”]
      Close your eyes and I’ll cuff you…

  6. chuck dunbar April 8, 2021

    Yep, me too.

  7. chuck dunbar April 8, 2021

    IT WAS A CATTY THING TO DO

    That dang cat picture today, with that tempting caption—after the Nike add:

    “Bite Someone.
    For no apparent reason.
    Just bite them.”

    So, I took it to heart, heck it’s in the AVA, why not? I bided my time, and when it was just the right moment, I bit my wife, but not too hard. She shrieked, then lunged at me and bit me back, harder than I’d done. Learned a lesson there, won’t do it again…

    • Harvey Reading April 8, 2021

      I’d heard for decades that weird behavior was common on the north coast; but it’s not as weird as a guy who shoots and kills his wife when she jumps out of the closet to surprise him. The county attorney didn’t press charges. So, I conclude that it’s ok to bite your wife in your area and that it’s ok to murder your wife if she startles you in Wyoming. Whadda country!!! Land of the free indeed.

      • chuck dunbar April 8, 2021

        Yes, Harvey, a bunch of weirdos out here…we do like our fun and our freedoms…

  8. George Hollister April 8, 2021

    Here is one from HL Mencken that everyone at the AVA can agree with:

    “My belief in free speech is so profound that I am seldom tempted to deny it to the other fellow. Nor do I make any effort to differentiate between the other fellow right and that other fellow wrong, for I am convinced that free speech is worth nothing unless it includes a full franchise to be foolish and even…malicious.”

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